What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring, silicon-based mineral that occurs as fibers of varying length and texture. Asbestos deposits are found around the world, and its use has been documented dating back to ancient times. Asbestos is highly heat-resistant and makes an excellent insulating and fireproofing material. Over the past 150 years, asbestos was used in many common household items, including flooring tiles, ceiling tiles, insulation panels, roofing shingles, vehicle brake pads, fire-resistant clothing and dozens of other applications where a flexible, fireproof material was needed.
Although asbestos is a useful, versatile material, asbestos mining and its use in manufacturing have slowly been phased out in many countries, as the dire health effects it can potentially cause have become known. As early as the turn of the last century, doctors and scientists began recognizing that people who worked closely with asbestos often developed lung problems. The small fibers of asbestos are easily inhaled during mining, processing and handling if proper personal protective equipment is not used. In the days before the health effects of asbestos were completely understood, workers were frequently exposed to asbestos on the job, and many brought the substance home on their clothing, thus exposing their wives, children and other housemates to the fibers.
What Health Problems Can Asbestos Cause?
The small, sharp fibers of asbestos are today recognized as a serious carcinogen, or cancer-causing substance. Even a short-term exposure to the airborne fibers can lead to health conditions that include:
- Asbestosis—a non-cancerous lung disease characterized by shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain.
- Mesothelioma—a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma can also affect the lining of the abdomen and heart.
- Lung Cancer
In many cases, the effects of asbestos exposure do not surface for years or even decades. That’s why some people are just starting to experience symptoms today even though the use of asbestos has been closely regulated for over 40 years.
Could I Have Been Exposed to Asbestos?
If you, an immediate family member or anyone you’ve ever shared a home with worked directly with asbestos, you might have been exposed. Workers in the petroleum and shipbuilding industries that have historically employed thousands of Louisianans are among those at risk of having been exposed. Many older homes were built with asbestos-containing components, including flooring products, ceiling panels, insulation and drywall. Because the asbestos is tightly encompassed in these building materials, it generally does not pose a problem if left undisturbed. However, people may be exposed to asbestos during a home remodeling project if asbestos-containing materials are carelessly removed. This is especially true if the demolition and removal is not handled by an asbestos removal professional.
What Steps Should I Take if I Think I’ve Been Affected?
If you’re suffering from lung or breathing problems and suspect that asbestos may be culprit, the first thing you should do is see a doctor. If you’re diagnosed with any of the above asbestos-related conditions, consider contacting a Louisiana asbestos lawyer. Attorney Group for Louisiana can connect you with an affiliated Louisiana asbestos lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights in your unique situation, and help you pursue compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, or even time off work due to your illness.
Considering a Claim? Contact Attorney Group for Louisiana Today
Asbestos can cause life-altering health problems and can potentially even lead to death. Louisiana asbestos lawyers help people who have suffered injury possibly due to asbestos exposure seek damages. Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against asbestos mining and manufacturing companies throughout the country, and at Attorney Group for Louisiana, we want you to understand your rights and whether you could be able to file a Louisiana asbestos lawsuit.
It will not cost you anything upfront to speak with a Louisiana asbestos lawyer about your situation. If you have any questions about filing an asbestos lawsuit, call Attorney Group for Louisiana today. We want to help answer your questions and connect you with an affiliated Louisiana asbestos lawyer.